We spent three glorious nights in Wanaka, a village just north of Queenstown. The weather was clear, and we pitched our tent next to a miraculously bug-free river lined with towering trees and surrounded by mountains. Our favorite activity was hiking the Roys Peak Track. The track was only eight kilometers, but those kilometers were entirely vertical as we ascended 1,578 meters—our quads were burning! 

We knew the hike would offer excellent views of Lake Wanaka. We didn't realize that many more mountains would appear beyond the lake, nor that  grassy slopes and farmlands would appear on the opposite side of the mountain, nor that Mt. Aspiring's snowy peak would rise in the distance.